Sugaring off in and around Montréal – 2019 edition
This article was updated on March 14, 2019.
When it’s sugar shack time, Montrealers know spring is around the corner. Maple lovers don’t have to go far as the city has some great urban sugar shacks where Québec tradition and modern influences are combined. Below is a list of some of our favourite cabanes in and around Montréal.
Un Chef à l’érable with Hakim Chajar (March 15 to April 14)
Chef Hakim Chajar is coming back for the 8th edition of Un Chef à l’érable. The chef and owner of popular Miel restaurant will take on the Old Montréal urban sugar shack at the Scena. You’ll be spoiled with a generous meal centered around Québec’s maple syrup tradition but with the chef’s special touch. The menu includes dishes such as pork ribs with soy and foie gras sauce, pike quenelles with lobster bisque and decadent desserts like maple profiteroles and white chocolate and frozen apple log. The price is $69 for adults and $25 for children (plus taxes).
Maple brunches around town
Le Richmond (weekends from March 9 to 31)
Once again, Le Richmond is bringing its highly anticipated weekend maple brunches during the month of March. The menu consists of cabane à sucre classics as well as more creative dishes laden with maple syrup, of course. Their heated terrace will host various sugar shack delights like mulled wine, cotton candy, farm animals, ice shooters and maple taffy. Reservations are suggested.
Caribou Gourmand (March 16, 17, 23 and 24 and April 6, 7, 13 and 14)
The Caribou Gourmand weekend maple brunches are back once again this year. The menu consists of traditional sugar shack items with a $45 all-you-can-eat option. Keep an eye on the website, where the menu details will be posted soon!
Perles et Paddock (until the end of April)
The Instagram-perfect Griffintown restaurant Perles et Paddock is serving a weekend brunch menu rooted in sugar shack tradition. You'll find items such as split pea soup and pouding chômeur on the menu as well as more sophisticated dishes such as a pork, beef, veal and foie gras tourtière and blood sausage with maple and apple chutney.
Comptoir Sainte-Cécile (March 30 and 31)
This Villeray lunch and brunch counter has carved itself a spot on the city's best brunch list, and for good reason. Its brunches are always delicious and its thick-cut brioche French toast (made with brioche from the Guillaume bakery) is one of the best in town. Their brunches and lunches are delicious under any circumstance. The maple season brunch chefs Ségué Lepage and Adèle Prud’homme had created last year was decadent and promises to be just as good this year.
Marché Artisans (every Saturday, March 16 to April 20)
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s Marché Artisans has become a destination for food lovers looking for a wide variety of high quality food to delight in. Its maple brunch is one more reason why you should visit this delicious market. Two thematic menus prepared by chef Jean-Philippe Desjardins await you and include items such as buckwheat crepes with blueberries, baked beans with duck confit, eggs Benedict with maple Béarnaise sauce and a few maple desserts. Brunch is served with a selection of hot drinks, breads, pastries and jams.
Promenade Wellington’s Cabane Panache et Bois rond (March 21 to 24)
Maple sugar tarts with bacon confit, General Tao poutine, codfish croquettes with maple sauce, maple dulce de leche churros and pouding chômeur are just a few of the delectable items from local restaurants you’ll be able to enjoy during the 9th edition of Wellington Street’s urban sugar shack celebration. Listen to live music, play games, sample some Canadian whiskeys, have your curls trimmed by the barbers on site or try your hand at wood sculpting or maybe even axe throwing. There’s something for the whole family.
FloFest (March 22 and 23)
Fleury west in Ahuntsic is putting together FloFest, a celebration of maple season at Parc Tolhurst. An orchestra will be on site on Friday night followed by a comedy show by Julien Tremblay.
Complètement Sucres (April 13, 12 pm to 4 pm)
Complètement Sucres is back this year at Morgan Park for a day of traditional music and maple taffy. The day starts at noon and runs until 4 pm. Not to be missed is a friendly competition amongst the chefs from the Hochelaga neighbourhood and, for just $2.50, you can sample their creations. A portion of the money raised will be donated to an organization in the community.
Festival Gueule d’érable (April 26 to 28)
Music and maple take center stage at Festival Gueule d’érable, a new “modernized” version of a sugar shack on Quai Jacques-Cartier in the heart of the Old Port where food trucks and musical acts will gather to rock your plaid shirt!
If you’re a fan of maple taffy, the sweet treat is available at the Jean-Talon Market or the Atwater Market all season long. Maple stands abound at these locations starting in early March and until late April. While you’re there, stock up on your yearly supply of maple syrup, which you can purchase directly from the producers. If you still haven’t had enough maple, make sure to stop by Délices Érable & Cie to take home a sweet maple souvenir from Montréal.
If a real sugar shack experience is what you’re after, be sure to check out Sucrerie de la Montagne from mid-February until the end of April. Named a Québec heritage site and situated amid a 120-acre forest of century-old maple trees atop Mont Rigaud (an hour away from downtown Montréal), this place will make you feel like you’re experiencing the authentic Québécois tradition of “sugaring off.” They even offer log cabins if you decide to extend your experience and stay overnight.
For another authentic experience of Québec sugar shacks, visit the Apple Sugar Shack of Labonté de la Pomme. Known as the first apple shack in Québec, this family-run establishment located 45 minutes outside the city offers a traditional menu influenced by its specialty, apples. From March to April, you can sample dishes such as salmon tartare with maple and apples as well as onion soup made with Oka cheese, maple syrup, caramelized onions and croutons made from their apple bread.
Mayssam Samaha, blogger
Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city.